Saturday, December 15, 2012

Weekends Are For Rejoicing With the Best of Friends

Weekends are for sharing the best of moments with the best of friends.

And maybe you've heard it an hundred times and maybe it'll take a bit to tell in this quiet corner – how I love her and how we've shared a life together, but it must be retold again.  There's no way around it...the retelling of all this wonderful goodness.

You see, we met in September – that September when she was 8 and I was almost 8.  We just weren't so sure about each other in those days, and you know, her sister's name is Sarah, too, and so maybe I should only be friends with Sarah and Leah should be friends with Lily?  But our moms made us play together and we hid in the bushes and romped through a field and got red clay all over our clothes and that was the beginning.

And we didn't go to the same church and we were homeschooled so we didn't see each other very often.  But we would play our hearts out when we were together and the things we made and the voices we had for everyone in our families and the games we played.  And the best was when we could have a long weekend together and we would play house like you've never seen anyone play house before; and we would have doctors appointments and children would be born; and we would play church and we would draw our wedding pictures and make phonics curriculum and make dinner and discipline our children and all of this was the forging of a friendship.  Birthdays were always spent together.  And every Saturday there'd be that ringing of the phone and the retelling of all the "motherly" things we did that week and our "failures as mothers" and "what the kids were up to" and it was all part of our longing to one day be wives and mothers and we just couldn't imagine anything better than pretending until the time.

But then in 2003 we both moved away.  Lily and her family moved south and we moved north and for about 6 months we didn't have each other's phone numbers and what if we never talked again?  And there were tears and loneliness and longing for the best of friends.  And I remember it clear as day, that one afternoon on the porch, me so sad and missing Lily, and Daddy coming out and saying that he understood and that he and Mama had planned a surprise and Lily and Sarah were coming to visit for a few days!  And that began the annual tradition of spending a week together.  Some years we would go there and other years they would come here, and even one year we spent one week there and one week here, but for the past 9 years we haven't missed a summer visit.

Oh, there are a thousand, thousand memories wrapped up in those visits.  And of course we still talk on the phone every week (sometimes more), but there's nothing like our annual visit.  There was the year of the Pride and Prejudice video and those...what exactly were those accents?  And there was the year where we disagreed about modesty for a week.  And there was the year when our sisters were sewing all week and we were enjoying all the times that we weren't driving them back and forth to sewing.  And there was the summer that we sipped tea and made quiche and had photos taken, us all matching, and read together and talked together and played together.

And then there was the summer that so many longings started coming true and Lily stayed up way into the wee hours texting a boy whom she loved.  And the waking hours were spent giddily tiptoeing to her phone to "see if it was him." And we talked about him and how they met and what he said and what he did and what she was thinking and I was standing there the time he first called her.  And we would read together at breakfast and we would sip tea in the afternoon and we would go to Amelie's and order French Lavender Lemonade and we would take pictures together and make jewelry together but always, it always came back to the boy and what he was doing and what he said today and what he wanted her to know and what he was working on and...

That was this past summer...July 21st.  And these posts from the boy, they became known between us as The Daily David.  And so we started talking more because, me, I'm so far away and I want to feel close, and so I'd call and ask for The Daily David and she'd tell me and my heart would catch a little bit...with joy that there was that perfect someone to love her, and with sadness that there won't be another summer, just the two of us doing things.  And there won't be another Christmas where I send an ornament just to her.  And there won't be many more letters to Miss Freeman.  And someday soon I'll edit my contact list to say "Mrs. Bowman."  And you see, there's been a lifetime of waiting for this.  Since the day we met in September of 1999 we've played wife and we've played mother and we've longed to be married and we've made wedding pictures and wedding plans and we've sent family newsletters and we've prayed long and hard and we've shared all of this together and been so excited for the day that it would all be happening for real.

And so on Friday morning – me, I'd been up late and was sleeping in just a bit and the phone rings at 7:44 and Mama brings in the phone and says "It's Lily." And my heart just skips a beat because I've been waiting for this and they'd been to The Messiah the night before and I was just so hoping that he'd ask her after that concert in the city at Christmastime. And I say, "Hello this is Sarah" and I'm trying not to sound giddy before she's said a thing. And she says it, just like she always does, "Hi, this is Lily," with that little dip on "Lily." And then, "I just have some news I wanted to share..." And we talk and I'm the one who's on the ceiling whenever there's the least little bit of excitement and Lily, she just sits like a lady and enjoys it all on the inside. And then, the part I've known all along and it still catches me by surprise a bit, "So will you be my bride's maid?" And, "Yes, of course, with all my heart!"

Oh, this has always been how I've wanted it to be – a phone call at an unexpected time and us getting to share it all together.  And she told me everything I would want to know and she promised to send pictures of the ring and she told David he couldn't post anything on facebook until she had called me because there's been a promise made for these 13 years that we would find out in no other way than the way we've shared everything every Saturday.

To David and Lily ~ I am so excited for the both of you and wish you a wonderfully blessed-by-Him marriage from the bottom of my glad heart.

Lily, dearest, I love you exceedingly and am so thankful to our God that He has kept us over many years and given me such a friendship as this.  I am thankful beyond words to share all of this with you, just like we've always imagined.

David, you're a blessed man and frankly, because I know all of the Daily Davids, I know she's a richly blessed girl.  Love her well, because we take care of God's good gifts.